The Environmental Physics group was founded in April 2010, when Prof. Dr. Jens Bange was appointed from the University of Braunschweig to the University of Tübingen (EKUT).
Prof. Bange has more than twenty years of experience in the field of airborne atmospheric sciences and measurement technology, starting with the manned research aircraft Do-128 (D-IBUF) and the helicopter-borne turbulence probe Helipod. His work in the application of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) for atmospheric sciences began at the TU Braunschweig and is being continued at the ZAG in Tübingen since 2010.
The group studies mainly atmospheric flows using automatically operating unmanned aircraft (UAV), measurement-station networks (Ammer valley and urban terrain), and numerical simulations (CFD). The group's expertise lies in investigating turbulent exchange and transport processes in the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL), including momentum, heat, water vapour, CO2 and aerosol fluxes. Besides fundamental research, the group uses this expertise in various projects on wind-energy research, both off-shore and in complex terrain.
The atmospheric environment that affects life on earth the most is the lower troposphere (about the lowest 2000 m above ground level). It comprises the surface (Prandtl) layer, the ABL, the entrainment zone, and the adjacent lower free atmosphere. Most of the physical and chemical interaction of the earth's surface with the atmosphere happens here. Although we feel this interaction every day, many processes in the ABL are unknown, especially in the late afternoon, at night, and in the early morning, when thermal stability of the ABL changes rapidly. More insight into these processes (i.e. a proper physical and mathematical description) leads to a better understanding of the Earth's surface budgets,the propagation of matter and gas, and more reliable forecasts of weather and climate. Regarding applied science and engineering, this also helps with the understanding of wind turbines and their interaction with the ABL.